The Southwest

The South West of Ireland is a study in contrasts. From the lively excitement of Ireland’s third biggest city Cork (The real capital according to the natives) to the serene beauty of the Lakes of Killarney in Kerry the South West has the best of both worlds.

Cork is known as the Rebel County and has the history to prove it. Strolling in the streets of the city the visitor finds himself surrounded by the unique singsong cadence of the Cork accent. Small enough to see in a day but large enough and lively enough to explore for a lifetime Cork City is as good a place as any to base yourself when in the South.

Moving out of the city one passes Ireland’s only wildlife park on Fota Island and moving further along the coast are quiet fishing towns like Kinsale with a fantastic reputation for seafood. Further out in the county is the famous Blarney Castle, home to the Blarney Stone which. The poet Mahony wrote:”There is a stone that whoever kisses,Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent ‘Tis he may clamber to a lady’s chamber, Or become a member of parliament.”

Moving west into Kerry you rapidly discover why people refer to the county as the ‘Kingdom’ for the majesty of her landscape and the ancient legends that tell of the triumphs of her people. The Dingle peninsula is one of the most popular places for visitors who queue up to see Dingle’s most famous resident Fungi, a wild bottlenose dolphin who has made the bay his home.

Closer to the border with Cork are the magnificent Lakes of Killarney with some of the most spectacular scenery in the country and breathtaking views of the lakes and Muckross Abbey on Ross Castle on the eastern side. The Ring of Kerry is a fantastic trip around the rugged Kerry coastline including the Killarney National Park and the towering Macgillicuddy Reeks, which includes Ireland’s highest mountain Carrantoohill. With a score or more of small towns and villages providing a welcome break for the weary traveller the Ring of Kerry trail is a great way to see the country.

With the towns of Listowel and Tralee, home to the famous Rose of Tralee festival, Kerry can provide all you desire for a great stay in the South West.

Cork
The ‘rebel county’ is an area of great natural beauty and clean waters

Kerry
The ‘Kingdom’ county. Where a royal welcome awaits every visitor.